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Pain Research: Placebo, Animal Models, Ethics, and Epidemiology 

Pain Research: Placebo, Animal Models, Ethics, and Epidemiology
Pain Research: Placebo, Animal Models, Ethics, and Epidemiology

David A. Edwards

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date: 23 October 2019

Research in pain requires not only that basic ethical standards for human studies research are followed but also that special consideration be given to the potential for human suffering. Following World War II, placebos as controls became widely used with the adoption of the randomized controlled trial. Other study designs have elucidated the risk factors for pain. The prevalence of pain in society is a measure of the burden of pain. Experimentation using animals in pain research has provided considerable insight into the pathophysiology of pain in humans. Historical abuses in human experimentation have driven the development of ethical guidelines for human subjects research. The Belmont Report serves as the modern standard of basic ethical principles on which institutional review boards judge human research studies.

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